It’s time, yes it is time, we gotta love our bodies a little more as we become slightly older.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you and then heed its advice. Take a little better care of your body. Not only is it the only one you got, but how it functions is going to dictate how you are going to live in your later years.
Many of us didn’t take great care of our bodies in our youth. And we can certainly feel it now as we are slightly older. But all is not lost. If we can practice some good, sensible self care now (aka maintenance), it is highly likely that we can recover from the annoying aches, pains, and stiffness that we are experiencing. Even if we have medical and orthopedic issues, we can help ourselves age more gracefully, energetically, and pain free if we just practice some sensible self care right now.
Learn to hear what your body is telling you.
…And then learn to listen to its wisdom and do something about it.
When we were young, there was plenty of wiggle room to be master of our bodies. Putting them through hell and still expecting them to perform. But as we get older, it’s time to be more mature. Our bodies know more than we do. It’s okay to admit that. Let’s use the wisdom of our age (and our bodies) to our advantage. If something hurts, go do something about it.
Many times we already know the answer. Follow through on it. Go see your doctor or a health care professional if you sense that there is something wrong. It won’t get better by denying it. It will only get better if you do something about it.
Exercise is vital to having a strong, healthy and able body.
…But so is rest and recovery.
As much as we might hate to admit it, our bodies can’t do as much as they used to. But that is okay. Which is more important to you? Being at your best? Or working as hard as you could when you were younger. I know which option I want to pick. I like working on being the best at the age that I am. That best changes over time. That’s what makes it intriguing and a bit of a game.
As we age, rest and recovery become more important to being at our best physically and mentally. Our bodies take more time to clear the cortisol and stress hormones from our bodies. That is a fact of nature. And if we learn to work with rather than rebel against Mother Nature, we can be doing some really cool things physically and mentally.
Here are two tips I have learned over time:
- Never end your day without enough energy to start your next. In other words, never work or push yourself until your tank is empty. This message really hit home as I read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir by Haruki Murakami. When we leave some fuel in the tank at the end of the day, we sleep better, we recover better, and we perform better over time. Sounds like a winning formula to me.
- Allow yourself at least one day a week to completely rest and recover. And then carve out a bigger role in your life for rest and recovery. Recovering our expended energy requires a thoughtful approach to recharging your batteries. Read my blog http://strandfitnessllc.com/improving-life-rest/ about the book, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less. It will give you some great ideas for rest and recovery.
Gently stretch your muscles and move all of your joints each and every day
This is where the daily maintenance comes into play. If you are like me, I have spent decades repeating the same movement patterns as I walk, sit, workout, and live my life. The patterns are imperfect, and they have created wear and tear on our muscles and our joints. The result is daily ache, pains, and stiffness. It gets frustrating. And it makes me feel my age.
But some simple stretching and mobility movements each day can help alleviate the issues. Five to ten minutes a day can work wonders.
- Check out Strand Fitness’s Youtube station to get some ideas: https://goo.gl/YQgB8z
- Also check out this stretching book by Bob Anderson, it’s one of the classics: https://goo.gl/wESPC7
I also know a really great personal training studio in downtown Wheaton, IL who can help you (hint, hint – Strand Fitness) learn how to incorporate stretching and mobility into your daily routine.
Tend to the issues in your tissues – regularly!
Whether you do it yourself (like foam rolling for myofascial release) or seek the assistance of a professional ( like a massage therapist or a personal trainer)), releasing the tension and the trigger points in your soft tissues is important. Soft tissues, by the way, are your muscles and muscle fascia (the pulley system within the body that coordinates movement). Do some of this maintenance regularly. A monthly massage is a great ritual. Daily foam rolling on key areas like your hips, legs, or back can greatly improve your soft tissues.
Sleep! Get it right!
Get the right amount of sleep! For the average, healthy adult that means at least 7.5 hours a night. That’s the starting point. Adjust from there. Many people need more than 7.5 hours, especially for those people with highly active lives – mentally and physically. I routinely get 9 hours of sleep – and love it. My mood and level of performance suffer when my sleep is disrupted.
High quality sleep is important too.
I have been talking about the importance of sleep since I became a personal trainer in 2004. And, thankfully, I have seen the needle move in the positive direction. While our sleep can get disrupted as we age, most of my clients have already made high quality sleep a priority in their lives.
Type “sleep” into the search bar of our blog to read our posts on this subject. http://strandfitnessllc.com/blog/
If you want to learn more about loving your body a little more, give Pam a call (630-653-8152) or send her an email (email@example.com). She is happy to schedule a fitness consultation with you to map out your “maintenance” plan. Our personal trainers in Downtown Wheaton our ready to be on your fitness team.
To learn more about our fitness solutions, click here http://strandfitnessllc.com/fitness-solutions/